Saturday, January 8, 2011

Heavy snow appears likely for parts of East Texas Sunday

A significant winter storm is forecast to develop later tonight and move into the area on Sunday. An area of low pressure in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere is moving across the Panhandle this morning and will drop down to the Hill Country this evening before moving northeast across East Texas tomorrow afternoon. At the same time an area of low pressure at the surface will develop along the Texas Gulf coast throwing Gulf moisture across East Texas. Precipitation should begin to fall before sunrise Sunday morning but the big challenge in this forecast is, what type of precipitation. Right now based on the latest data, this is the what we are expecting.
Between 6:00AM and noon we will see a mixture of rain sleet and snow across the area. For areas along and east of a Marshal Center line we could be looking at freezing rain as well. For areas west of that line, temperatures should remain above freezing during this time period so no ice accumulations are expected.
Between Noon and 3:00PM the upper level low pressure will be moving into the area bringing much colder air above the surface. As this happens most of the precipitation north and west of a line from Marshal to Jacksonville to Palestine should begin to chance over to snow. South and east of this line a mixture of rain sleet and snow can be expected as far south as Crockett to Lufkin to Center. Areas East of the Marshal to Center line may be dealing will small ice accumulations.
Between 3:00PM and 6:00PM the upper level low should be over East Texas changing all precipitation to snow. It is during this time that significant accumulations of snow could occur along and just to the north of the low's eventual path. The best chance of seeing four or more inches of snow will be along and north of a Palestine to Jacksonville to Marshall line. If heavy snow bands develop then some parts of East Texas could see more than six inches of snow.
Between 6:00PM and Midnight the upper low will be moving East of the area. During this time accumulating snowfall should begin to end. Right now it looks as though all of East Texas could see at least 1 inch of snow north of a Crockett to Lufkin to Hemphill line with areas between I-20 and I-30 possible seeing 4 to 6 inches or more of snow.
Again, this forecast is dependent on the development of a surface low in the northern gulf and the eventual path of the upper low to our west. Please stay tuned for the latest changes in the forecast over the weekend.

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